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Who is Dave?

I'm Dave... I was Born in Johnson City and raised on a small farm in rural Jonesborough, TN (oldest town in Tennessee) with no brothers or sisters. Computers were my main interest from age 6 (anyone remember TRS-80's and Commodore 64's?). I played football from age 8-16 and I attended Daniel Boone highschool. At 16, I took the UMC (United Methodist Church) lay ministry training and was one of the youngest lay-ministers in the region. I was afraid of public speaking until I got out of college, so I think I only got in the pulpit a couple of times.

One summer during high-school when the tobacco work was over, I did some volunteer work as a computer teacher for Holston Services which was an agency that helped individuals with disabilities (mental and physical) learn basic work-life skills. I taught a fellow by the name of "David" how to use a graphics publishing tool. It was a learning opportunity for both of us..haha.

My grandparents and parents were very hard workers (yet supported education above all else) so I was expected to "get out of the house" and work!! I remember picking up tobacco leaves even before my first day of Kindergarten. From Wendy's restaurant to waiting tables at a rough country-bar, Sears telecatalog to TVA - I had a pretty diverse work history even before starting college.

College was my favorite time (since it took me over 10 years to get out..haha). My first college degree was in Computer Science from Northeast State Community College . I moved to Knoxville after I realized that there were several other things I needed to learn. I wanted more complexity in my life - so I went to Univ. of Tennessee into International business and eventually landed in the area of Human Resource Development . I think the idea of International travel appealed to me more than anything and I enjoyed business. Pretty soon after living in tiny apartments and living on my own, I needed to begin working so I found an internship at TVA which would allow me to work 20-30 hours per week, gain work experience, and help pay the bills.

I was very fortunate to have met Dr.Vickie Stout (mentor, professor, and great friend) who guided me through my learning journey and into the field of Workforce Development and Human Resources where I was able to complete a B.S. degree in HR (Workforce Training). I didn’t plan on going back for any more education (or could even afford it since I had to pay for all of my college), but was invited to help coordinate the technology and multimedia development for a large grant that they were awarded with the goal of creating the first online degree program. I was given a full scholarship plus stipend for Grad School and was able to complete my Masters degree in Human Resource Development. Dr. Stout and other professors will never know how much I learned from that experience. I gained an expertise in eLearning which was was growing by leaps in bounds at the time both in education, but also the corporate world. I started working with the Center for Disability and Employment (formerly TIE) to develop online training, websites, and technology support. I also did some neat consulting projects with the Dept. of Energy and their first online learning system, TVA's distance education network, and even taught a week long workshop for a group of Koreans from Samsung International. I presented on topics all over the country such as eLearning technology , Universal Instructional Design, Knowledge Management, and Video Conferencing (pdf). My graduate work focused around the design and development of a fully automated online Corporate University (I called it a "Virtual University" model).

Toward the end of my graduate program, I submitted my resume' to several online job search engines including Flipdog and Within a few months, I had several wonderful job offers all over the country and just about took one in St.John Canada with Nortel Networks, when I got a call from Eastman Chemical Company which is back in my home town where my parents and grand parents had worked. I thought I would never go back or even find a job in the learning technology arena, but I was pleasantly suprised! I wrapped up several consulting projects with Univ. of TN, and packed my bags for Northeast Tennessee in 2002.
I’ve been fortunate to have some interesting “firsts”
  • Youngest lay minister in my church district at the age of 15 (Methodist)
  • Youngest to complete the 60-hour Contact Concern support help-line training
  • Lead an innovative team that conducted the first educational virtual video conference at the Univ. of TN to an international group using h.323 video, real-time chat, and streaming media (1998).
  • Coordinated all technology and training for the first online degree program in the State of Tennessee (1st to use audio/video in an online course). (1997-2002)
  • Co-chaired and planned the first Northeast TN ASTD regional conference that brought world famous leadership author and speaker, John Maxwell to the Tri-Cities with a turnout of over 800 people from all over the state. (2005)
  • Established the first student HR organization at the Univ. of TN (1997)
  • Designed, developed, and taught a specialized workshop on eLearning technologies for Koreans in HR & Training from Samsung Corporation International. (2000)
  • Lead the technical team to design and develop the Eastman University learning portal to a global audience of over 13,000 (2003)
  • Worked with the team that developed what has been recognized by international safety experts as “one of the best internally developed safety culture assessment processes.” (2004-2007)
  • Created my first scholarship for students going into training or education at Northeast State Technical Community college (2006)

Since completing my A.S. degree in 1995 to finishing my Masters degree in Business in 2003, I've worked in a small training organization, been involved with various work-related community stuff, worked with TVA, Univ. of TN, Center for Disability and Employment, Eastman Chemical Company. As a consultant in various areas of business technology and HR, I’ve been able to help dozens of small and large businesses move online. I enjoy learning about a business from the inside-out and then trying to figure out how to grow it using the many technologies available today and also develop the skills of the people within the business. Since 2003, I’ve enjoyed teaching various college night classes on topics such as eCommerce, Instructional Web Technologies, HR Management, and Compensation.

Well...the journey continues I have a passion for learning and helping people, have wonderful friends and family, and look forward to each new day's opportunities.
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